Companies unsure of data protection effectiveness
IT departments are acutely aware of the sensitive nature of the data that their companies produce and store on a large scale. However, that doesn't mean IT decision-makers are overly confident in the data protection measures that are put in place to safeguard the information.
Research recently conducted by Varonis, which provides solutions for auditing data access information, showed that data protection measures - such as backup and recovery systems - may be lacking at some companies.
"It's worrying that so many companies are still complacent when it comes to data protection," Varonis' director of strategy David Gibson said. "It means that these organizations would have some serious questions to answer should they suffer a breach."
Specifically, Gibson's company's poll of more than 200 IT professionals revealed that 70 percent are not very confident concerning the level of protection applied to stored information. This is worrying when it's considered that 80 percent of respondents acknowledge they collect and store data on customers, clients, vendors and business partners.
Just about half of respondents said they were fairly confident in data protection measures, while 20 percent were not confident at all.
"[R]egulators such as the SEC, ICO and EU would likely deem that they had failed in their obligation to provide appropriate security protection to prevent sensitive data breaches and impose a hefty financial penalty," Gibson said. "It's really not rocket science - if you've got sensitive data and you're not very confident that it's adequately protected, you need to take action."
While it's important for traditional data security measures to be applied to stored information, other forms of protection are also needed to mitigate the damages done by a breach or IT disaster.
For example, offsite tape storage is one method IT decision-makers can utilize. Storing a second copy of mission-critical information will ensure that it is protected against both natural and man-made IT disasters - storms, power outages and network downtime, to name a few - and easily recoverable following such incidents.
However, the processes for auditing data, determining what is confidential and devising a backup and recovery system around it can be daunting for some organization. For these, the services of a professional partner firm is recommended. A provider can store tapes offsite, ensuring they are protected with long-term operations and compliance in mind.